We got Ruger at 6 weeks which I know is probably a lot of the cause of his problems, but I need some advice on how to correct them. First of all I have always given Ruger a toy when he tried to nip me or just got up and ignored him. We also make sure he gets his exercise and is able to play with other dogs as much as possible. He usually plays with my sister's 1 year old boxer who is extremely tolerant, Ruger bites him way too hard in my opinion because he has made Bruno bleed several times and Bruno just keeps playing like nothing happened so Ruger continues. He tries to do this with other puppies his age to, just constantly trying to bite them hard and growling at them. It is really frustrating! He has gotten much much better at not nipping at us but the other day my 5 year old was playing and accidentally fell on him while he was sleeping and he immediately starting growling and bit her on the ear, leaving a little puncture. He is not very old so this behavior is scary to me. The really odd thing is that most of the time he is very mellow, and friendly. I appreciate your advice.
Your right part of the problem is because you took him from the litter too soon. He never learned from his litter mates what is appropriate behavior with his mouth. Stop using the word NO with him, at this point he probably thinks NO is his first name. When he gets mouthy immediately shout HEY!!! loudly to get his attention, put his leash on him and take him to the basement or another room where he can be confined until he settles down for a time out. Leave him in there for about 5 minutes. There shouldn't be any toys or things to play with because you want him to focus on the fact that he isn't with you. Once he has settled down bring him out. If he does it again follow the same procedure and do it every time until the behavior changes. If you use a crate, don't put him in the crate, you don't want to associate the crate with bad behavior. Give the puppy praise when he does good. I would make sure that the children know that when the dog is lying down they have to respect the dog and leave it alone. All it takes is one incident and your visiting a plastic surgeon and the dog is being destroyed.
We had Saska at 6wks and had more or less the same problems,I was really worried what I had done, I used to put her in the kitchen and ignore her when she was too mouthy and got over boisterous with my SILs dog Kelly, as Olie said, labs hate to be ignored, but I must admit that Kelly used to put Saska in her place and tell her off. I am sure there are a lots of people on this website who can give you good advice.
Do not give up Saska has turned into the most caring and soppy dog with people and other dogs, It was worth the wait and hard work and training I had to put in. When she got mouthy with me I used to put a toy in her mouth instead of my hand, this seemed to work well.
Yeah -- what they said!
Just be CONSISTENT. We got Misty at 6 weeks old also, and she was a biting TERROR!! Like Oonas Dad said, perhaps Misty didn't learn enough bite inhibition being taken from her litter so early.
In any case, WE had to be persistent and consistent, correcting her biting/insanity constantly.
With, she has gotten MUCH better. She is now 6 months old, and the insane biting has basically tapered off. She's still mouthy, but much gentler, and will listen to "NO" now. Plus, losing those needle-like puppy teeth helps TREMENDOUSLY! Bottom line -- if you are consistent, your pup will learn. More and more of the mellow, friendly traits you mentioned will show through once the puppy exuberance wanes slowly with time. Hang in there!
We've also had a lot of success using the "nose pinch" with Baloo, although we picked him up at 8 weeks.
There are many distractions in our house (peanut, cats, etc.) so when we "ignored him" he just goes and finds something else to play with, and doesn't get the hint!
I don't know if you've tried that already, but something to think about, anyways.
(note: we use the nose pinch because my b/f has never been around a puppy before, so I picked the simplest method, basically. We don't really have a place that's easily accessible to do what Oona's Dad has suggested.)
Baloo - 5 year old black lab
Peanut - 7 year old minpin
Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue